Dassault Systèmes’ valued added partners in Asia Pacific South (APS) are at the heart of the company’s activities and growth in our key markets. They are critical in providing after-sales services, such as installation, training, and maintenance on our behalf, due to their advanced technical expertise and local market reach.
For Dassault Systèmes’ APS Partner Spotlight Series 2021, we will feature interviews with business owners from our Customer Process Experience partner community, where they will share their unique experiences and challenges in managing our key products and services in their respective markets, as well as their aspirations for years to come.
The first interview in the series spotlights Sir Carlos ALMAZAN, Managing Director for MDCGroup, one of the leading technology and market leaders in the field of digital product development in the Philippines.
The past year has been a rollercoaster ride for businesses and people, but it was also a year of learning and new opportunities. Sir Carlos Almazan shares his insights on the current business landscape in the Philippines, the contribution of marketing to MDCGroup, and his ambition and goals in 2021 and beyond.
1. You started heading the marketing team in 2019. How did the decision come about and why?
There was always a vague understanding of how much marketing was really contributing to the annual Sales target. My objective was to position marketing as another revenue stream, so I needed to understand what kind of mechanisms work best for certain types of customer profiles in a specific industry. I wanted to quantify the results and eventually control the outcome because that way I can assign incremental growth objectives and develop business plans based on proven and effective sales practices.
2. What is the role of marketing in MDCGroup’s business strategy?
MDCgroup’s business strategy has always been that of diversification beyond the traditional CAD/CAM/CAE type software business. We believe a large market exists if one is able to capitalize on existing technology investments that customers have made regardless of the brand. While strategy, selection, and positioning of products are done by business leaders like myself, marketing is crucial in defining the execution of tactics and action plans that lead to the creation of a “prospect database” to drive revenue growth.
3. Can you provide examples of how MDCGroup’s Marketing programs have contributed to achieving the sales objectives?
In May 2019, a DELMIA marketing event entitled “Operational Excellence via SMART Manufacturing”, generated a PLC pipeline worth 230K USD composed of ORTEMS, IEN, and Virtual Build. Three customers (Pressline Steel, Analog Devices, and Fuji Industries) were seriously considering Ortems prior to the lockdown to complement their ERP system.
During the 2019 Annual VIP Dinner for Japanese executives, we highlighted a previous case on how a local packaging equipment company used the 3DEXPERIENCE platform Program and Project Management IPE roles to increase throughput by implementing a concurrent engineering approach with invisible governance. During the same year, Toyota Aisin which was a Creo base implemented the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to manage multiple stakeholders inside their company.
The recently concluded webinar campaign for DELMIA Industrial Engineer, which targeted customers who needed to respond to uncertainties in labor attendance because of government safety regulations, we generated 15 inquiries for a pipeline worth USD12,000.
4. Can you provide us with examples of successful marketing initiatives?
Our smart manufacturing event in 2019 saw Mitsubishi Motors Philippines purchasing the DELMIA work cell builder with a deal size of USD33,000.
The PSMX Mold and Die event that showcased CATIA tooling capability, saw GOSHI purchasing PLM express with Mold Design at USD15,000.
5. What are the challenges you have faced during this pandemic?
When we resumed operations in June 2020, we saw the largest decline in sales forecast because customers suddenly deemed technology purchases as “non-essential” and emphasis was on recovery and survival. Customers did not have any visibility into their future orders.
As the year progressed, the changing policy of IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) to slow down the spread of the virus introduced much uncertainty into how our customers could operate. To comply with the 50% workforce capacity requirement, engineering teams, which was our main target customer segment, implemented alternate workdays, and software vendors like us were not allowed to visit unless it was absolutely essential to their operations such as support. This made it very difficult for us to reach the correct audience in order to progress sales.
6. How did you overcome these challenges?
We re-directed our focus to manufacturing where customers have 100% workforce on-site, as opposed to engineering where the majority are work from home (WFH). Taking the cue from the industry study that Dassault Systèmes made and positioning products to address relevant issues also played a big role.
As an example, Digital Twin to provide agility to manufacturing companies needing to react to changes and minimize disruption is one of the key initiatives we launched.
Marketing’s role was crucial because we needed to reach an audience and hold them captive so we could articulate the value of the offering. Marketing shifted the messaging from the traditional “productivity gain” to instead, the need to maintain profitability by closely monitoring KPI that require rapid visibility and decision making made possible by employing the “digital twin”. This created more impact because it is relevant to the current situation.
While this on-going activity may produce results later on the year, or even early next year, it is important to get customers started on evaluating alternatives to improve their business processes in anticipation of market recovery.
7. What’s your ambition for 2021 and the future of MDCGroup?
We will position MDCGroup as an “enterprise solution” company for many years to come. As an example, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform portfolio will be key to our direction because it will allow us to scale our offerings to cover the complete spectrum of solutions to address varying requirements for manufacturing companies.